As stated, we went to Los Angeles for Spring Break with our pals Anne Marie and Jimmy Hagood and their daughter, Catherine. We travel well together. Really well. Mary Perrin, Margaret, Perrin, and I really love traveling with the Hagoods. Third Spring Break in a row.
One of the days we were in LA, we went full on tourist. Mega-tourist. Tourist to the nth power times one hundred.
We went on the tour of the Warner Brothers studios and lots.
We bought swag in the gift store.
We then had the Uber driver take us to the Beverly Hills Hotel where there were some celebrities spotted.
Rob Long, one of my favorite high school teachers who is now in the Bidness, lives in Venice, CA. He also knows the Hagoods, because of course……..
Unfortunately, Rob was in New York at the time. I texted him about some of the spottings. His reply, “It’s what everyone imagines L.A. to be: a series of casual encounters with celebrities punctuated by juice drinks.” He makes a good point.
Anyway, after the sightings in said hotel and pictures of fronded wallpaper, we asked the amazingly helpful concierge for a map and a restaurant recommendation within walking distance. Said concierge showed us the way via the map through The Flats over towards Rodeo Drive. We walked to The Farm on North Beverly Drive and had a delightful lunch. Mary Perrin and Anne Marie were convinced someone at the next table was someone we all should have known. I had never seen the man.
Postprandial promenade: south on North Beverly; west on Brighton Way; and north on Rodeo. We had made it. The shopping mecca nestled between Santa Monica and Wilshire. Wait? This is it? Really? Seriously? Ok den.
I turned north on Rodeo. The rest of our crew turned South.
I walked by Bijan, Vera Wang, Tumi, Hermes, Gorgio Armani, and Ralph Lauren, and then walked back south the same way.
I remembered reading some years back in some architecture magazine that the Hermes on Rodeo had a cool space.
I like their ties.
I went in to the emporium to give it a gander. The space designed by Rena Dumas Architecture Interieure (RDAI) didn’t disappoint.
Here’s a glimpse
Tons of light floods in from a roofless roof and down and around the store. Three floors of well lit lux. (See what I did there Latin scholars?)
As with most super high end stores, I was immediately asked if I needed any help. I asked where the ties where. Clerk showed me. I browsed. I chose.
As I was browsing, I noticed a flurry of activity out of one eye involving a man in full Sheik of Araby dress along with a retinue of handlers and three salespeople approaching the discreetly positioned registers. I was making my way to the same register, but I had to let the Sheik and his crew go before me.
I knew this was going to be good, perhaps great.
His Serene Sheikiness and crew did not disappoint.
I stood and waited and listened while the heavily French accented store manager personally tallied and typed into the store’s computer and made zee small talk.
“I ‘ope you found everyzing you needed, Sir”
“I did,” came his reply drier than the Sahara.
“Zee sadles we will ‘ave sent to you, no? Please, write zee address here, Sir.”
“Yes, please have them sent. They will be perfect for our use.”
“Do you ‘unt or just ride? ”
“Neither. I am a falconer for sport. Others hunt. My daughters, they ride.”
“Are you sure ziz bag is the right colour for your wife?”
Wouldn’t it have been easier to get the saddles from Hermes, Paris?
Between the saddles, the ties, the scarves, and one small handbag, the grand total came to be around $34,000.
“Of course, zee shipping is complimentary.”
Now I get why it didn’t matter if the saddles came from Hermes Paris, Hermes Beverly Hills, or Hermes Timbuktu.
“And, ‘ere is zee invitashion to zee private event in Paris in a few weeks. We ‘ope you can attend.”
“I won’t be coming,” replied the Sheik in full deadpan as he handed his black Amex to the manager.
“Well, we would love to ‘ave you zere”
I bet they would have. He seemed so fun. He would have added so much.
“I won’t be coming,” replied the Sheik for a second time.
“Well, if you change your mind, the invitatshion will be in zee bag.”
“I won’t be coming.”
With a few iconic orange boxes in a few orange bags, the Sheik and his crew departed to the cars idling out front.
Store manager beckoned me to approach with tie.
“I bet this doesn’t get me invited to Paris, does it?” I asked
“Well, would you like to come? I can include you. Truly. I can ‘ave zem pu you on zee list.”
“I won’t be coming,” I replied trying to imitate the Sheik’s deadpan.
We both laughed.